Download Directing the Story: Professional Storytelling and Storyboarding Techniques for Live Action and Anim PDF

Directing the Story: Professional Storytelling and Storyboarding Techniques for Live Action and Anim
Name: Directing the Story: Professional Storytelling and Storyboarding Techniques for Live Action and Anim
Author: francis glebas
Pages: 359
Year: 2008
Language: English
File Size: 26.49 MB
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Focal Press is an imprint of Elsevier 30 Corporate Drive, Suite 400, Burlington, MA 01803, USA Linacre House, Jordan Hill, Oxford OX2 8DP, UK Copyright 2009, Francis Glebas. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Permissions may be sought directly from Elsevier s Science & Technology Rights Department in Oxford, UK: phone: ( 44) 1865 843830, fax: ( 44) 1865 853333, E mail: [email protected] You may also complete your request on line via the Elsevier homepage (http://elsevier.com), by selecting Support & Contact then Copyright and Permission and then Obtaining Permissions . Recognizing the importance of preserving what has been written, Elsevier prints its books on acid free paper whenever possible. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Glebas, Francis. Directing the story : professional storytelling and storyboarding techniques for live action and animation / by Francis Glebas. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978 0 240 81076 8 (pbk. : alk. paper) 1. Motion pictures"Production and direction. 2. Storyboards. I. Title. PN1995.9.P7G448 2008 791.4302 3 dc22 2008026270 British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. ISBN: 978 0 240 81076 8 For information on all Focal Press publications visit our website at www.elsevierdirect.com 09 10 11 12 13 5 4 3 2 1 Printed in China


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v Preface ix Acknowledgments xi PART ONE 1 The Goal: Why Do We Watch? ...............................3 Why Do We Watch Movies? ...................................................................3 1001 Nights of Entertainment ..........................................................3 What s at Stake Is Nothing Less Than Life and Death .....................5 Dramatization through Questions .....................................................5 1001 Nights Entertainment Revisited ............................................6 Critique: Is It Too Late to Turn Back? ...............................................13 Entertainment Explained ...................................................................14 Opportunity from Criticism ...............................................................14 What Is the Audience Doing? .............................................................15 Reverse Engineering Approach .........................................................15 Why Do We Watch and More .........................................................15 Promise to the Reader: Intuition Illuminated! ................................19 The Secret of Storytelling Is Story Delaying ................................19 Points to Remember ........................................................................ ...19 References ........................................................................ ....................19 2 Common Beginner Problems .............................21 Where Do You Begin? ........................................................................ ...21 The Catch 22 of the Character Driven Intuitive Approach .........22 What Can Possibly Go Wrong? ...........................................................22 What Do Directors Direct? ................................................................28 The Speaking Metaphor ......................................................................29 Show and Tell ........................................................................ ................29 Every Shot Is a Close Up ....................................................................30 What Is a Story? ........................................................................ .........41 What Is Character? ........................................................................ .....42 Critique: Introducing Scheherazade ................................................43 Points to Remember ........................................................................ ...44 References ........................................................................ ....................45 3 The Beginning Basics ..........................................47 History and Function of Storyboards .............................................47 Various Types of Storyboards ..........................................................48 Production Process ........................................................................ .....48 The Beat Board ........................................................................ ............48 Storyboarding Overview .....................................................................49 Story Reels ........................................................................ ..................49 The Refinement Process ....................................................................49 Pitching ........................................................................ .........................49 The Gong Show ........................................................................ .............52 How to Tell a Story with Pictures .....................................................52 Breaking Down the Script: What Are Story Beats? .....................72 How to Storyboard a Scene ..............................................................72 Staging the Action ........................................................................ ......73 Critique: Scheherazade s Storytelling ............................................73 Points to Remember ........................................................................ ...73 References ........................................................................ ....................73 4 How to Draw for Storyboarding: Motion and Emotion ...........................................75 Only 99,999 to Go .......................................................................75 From Stick Figures to Balloon People ..............................................76 Contents


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vi Walt Stanchfield s Gesture Drawing Class ....................................78 Caricature ........................................................................ .....................86 Designing Interesting Characters ....................................................86 The Story Drive of Emotions .............................................................87 Drawing the Four Main Emotion Groups ..........................................88 Miscellaneous Drawing Tips ...............................................................90 Drawing for Clarity and the Use of Clear Silhouettes...................91 Mort Walker s The Lexicon of Comicana ..............................................92 Technical Aspects of Storyboards ..................................................93 Critique: 1001 Drawings ...............................................................108 Points to Remember ........................................................................ 108 References ........................................................................ .................108 PART TWO 5 Structural Approach: Tactics to Reach the Goal .................................................111 Once upon a time ........................................................................ .111 Critique: Developing Character Relationships ............................117 Points to Remember ........................................................................ 117 References ........................................................................ .................117 6 What Do Directors Direct? ............................119 How to Get Attention .....................................................................120 The Map Is Not the Territory ..........................................................120 Selective Attention ........................................................................ .121 Keeping Attention ........................................................................ ....121 Keeping Structure Invisible: Tricks of Attention ........................121 The Power of Suggestion .................................................................124 How the Brain Organizes Information: Gestalt ..........................130 Director as Magician ........................................................................ 150 Hierarchy of Narrative Questions .................................................152 Critique: Scheherazade Directs Attention .................................155 Points to Remember ........................................................................ 155 References ........................................................................ .................155 7 How to Direct the Eyes ..................................157 Visual Clarity ........................................................................ .............157 What I Learned from Watercolor Artists: The Missing Piece of Design ........................................................................ ......157 Where Do I Look? ........................................................................ .......158 The Design Equation ........................................................................ .164 Directing the Eye with Composition .............................................179 A Magical Effect: How a Picture Makes You Feel ........................185 Light and Shadows ........................................................................ ...188 Points to Remember ........................................................................ 188 References ........................................................................ .................189 8 Directing the Eyes Deeper in Space and Time ............................................................191 What Is Wrong with This Picture? ..................................................191 What to Use: Telephoto or Wide Angle Lenses? .........................199 How to Use Framing to Tell a Story ...............................................200 Camera Mobility ........................................................................ ........208 Alternative Approaches ..................................................................208 A Trick for Planning Scenes .............................................................209 Proximity ........................................................................ ....................209 Point of View: Subjective Camera ...................................................210 The Town of Dumb Love and SketchUp TM ......................................210 Beware of Depth Killers ...................................................................210 Points to Remember ........................................................................ 210 References ........................................................................ .................211 9 How to Make Images Speak: The Hidden Power of Images ...............................................213 A Fancy Word for Clues ....................................................................213 Why Should You Care about Clues? ...............................................213 How Movies Speak to Us .................................................................215 The Mind Makes Associations .......................................................217 Contents


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vii 12 The BIG Picture: Story Structures ...........281 Primitive Filmic Structures and Propp s Story Functions .......................................................................282 The Hero s Journey or the Neurotic s Road Trip ......................283 Three Levels of Story Analysis ...................................................285 Mentors ........................................................................ .................286 Paradigms of Changing the Impossible to the Possible .........287 Ending, Beginning, and Turning Points .......................................293 Types of Scenes ........................................................................ ....293 What Happens if You Move the Structure Around? ...............295 Points to Remember ....................................................................296 13 Aiming for the Heart ....................................299 Do We Really Identify with the Hero? ........................................299 Fears, Flaws, Wants, and Needs ................................................300 Love Stories: What Keeps Lovers Apart? ................................300 What Is So Scary about Horror? ...............................................301 The Rubberband Theory of Comedy : Aiming for the Backside of the Heart ......................................................302 So Many Crime Shows .................................................................303 Emotional Truth ........................................................................ ....314 Music and Color: Not Meaning, but Meaningful .......................315 What Is It All About? ....................................................................319 Happy Ever After ........................................................................ ..319 Piglet s Big Compilation ...............................................................319 Why We Watch Movies, Revisited ..............................................320 The Story Knot and the Formula for Fantasy ..........................320 Emotional Engagement of a Story ............................................321 Points to Remember ....................................................................321 References ........................................................................ .............321 14 Summary: Recapitulation of All Concepts ........................................................323 Asking Questions and Getting Answers ..................................327 Reference ........................................................................ ...............327 Crime Story Clues and Signs ......................................................220 Significant Objects ......................................................................220 How Images Ask Questions ........................................................222 Speaking Indirectly .......................................................................230 Everything Speaks, If You Know the Code ................................237 Semiotic Square ........................................................................ ...238 Semiotic Analysis of the Scheherazade and Dumb Love Stories ................................................................238 Points to Remember ....................................................................239 References ........................................................................ .............239 10 How to Convey and Suggest Meaning .......241 Continuity and Causality: How We Put Juxtaposed Images Together .......................................................................241 Multiple Types of Causality ........................................................245 Screen Geography: Letting the Audience Know Where They Are ........................................................................ .246 Eyeline Matches .................................................................. ..........247 Time Continuity ........................................................................ .....247 History of Film Editing .................................................................251 Why Do We Have to Tell Stories? ...............................................260 The Film as Time Machine .............................................................261 Why Cuts Work ........................................................................ ......263 Why We Speak the Narration to Ourselves ..............................264 Points to Remember ....................................................................265 References ........................................................................ .............265 11 Dramatic Irony ..............................................267 Who Gets to Know What, When, Where, How, and Why (Including the Audience) .................................................267 Can You Keep a Secret? ...............................................................274 Pendulum of Suspense .................................................................275 Places for Dramatic Irony ...........................................................277 Critique: What Does the Sultan Know? ....................................277 Points to Remember ....................................................................278 References ........................................................................ .............278 Contents


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viii 15 Analysis and Evolution of the Scheherazade Project .................................329 Story Evolution: Making It Clearer and More Dramatic .........329 Thematic Analysis and Dramatic Structures .........................329 Story Parallels and Repetitions ................................................330 Hierarchy of Narrative Questions of the Scheherazade Story ........................................................................ ..................330 Cuts for Length or to Make the Story Move Quicker .............332 Changes Made to Make the Story More Dramatic or Resonant ........................................................................ ......334 16 Conclusion: Now We Must Say Good bye ........................................................337 What They Don t Tell You .............................................................337 Tips for Keeping Your Dream Alive .............................................337 Things Are Not Always What They Seem ..................................338 Bibliography ................................... 339 Index ........................................................................ 343 Contents


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ix Welcome all who wish to learn the secrets of making movies. This book is really the documentation of my trying to learn the real secrets of what makes mov ies great. When I began teaching, my students gave me feedback that they had never heard of a lot of the things I taught. This surprised me and I decided it was necessary to get the word out. Beware though that once you open these pages, watching movies will never be the same again. The classical Hollywood style asks that form be rendered invisible; that the viewer see only the presence of actors in an unfolding story that seems to be existing on its own; that the audience be embraced by the story, identify with it and its participants. Unlike montage and the long take, the continuity style was neither theorized nor analyzed (not by people who developed and used it, at least); its rules were developed intuitively and pragmatically through the early years of filmmaking. The continuity style developed because it worked, and its working was measured by the fact that it allowed filmmakers to make stories that audiences responded to with ease and with desire. They liked what they saw and wanted more. We still want more. 1 In my review of the literature, the classical Hollywood style was never fully ana lyzed, until now. So what is unique about my teaching? I began by asking myself Preface what it is that the audience is doing when they watch a film. I then proceeded to create strategies to address this when making a film. Here s what the viewers do: 1. First, they pay attention to the screen. 2. They perceive what is being shown and identify what things are. 3. Then they read the signs as characters are performing actions. They are following the story and starting to identify with the characters they like. 4. Then they start to make connections as to what it all means. 5. Then they guess what will happen next and where it is leading. 6. Then they worry about the characters and the outcome, continually adjusting their hypothesis according to new information provided. 7. Finally, when the film ends, they should feel the emotional closure of surprise and vindication that it ended the way they thought but not in the way they expected. What is very interesting is number four. Once the audience starts to connect the pieces of what the story events mean, they start to feel emotions. This was an amazing discovery: Meaning automatically evokes emotions! Francis Glebas Phd. in Fantasy Reference 1. Hill, J. and P. Gibson. Film Studies . New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.


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